Aircraft account for 12 percent of the U.S. transportation greenhouse gas emissions. They are the largest source of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. that are not subject to emissions regulations.
The EPA was required to set those standards after it found in August 2016 that greenhouse gas emissions from certain aircraft elevated concentrations of the greenhouse gases that are the primary cause of climate change. The finding said these gases “endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”
But many commercial planes in the U.S., covering more than 80% of aviation demand, already comply with those standards, meaning the ICAO guidelines won’t trigger any improvements in efficiency or fuel use, according to Lakewood. Newly delivered aircraft are also expected to exceed the ICAO standards by roughly 10%, she said.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday announced it was proposing the first U.S. emissions standards for commercial aircraft.
In 2016, the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed on global airplane emissions standards aimed at makers of small and large planes, including Airbus SE and Boeing Co, which both backed the standards.
The EPA-proposed regulation seeks to align the United States with the ICAO standards, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said. “We are implementing the ICAO recommendations, ICAO standards,” Wheeler told reporters.
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